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Downtown: Cobblestone owners do up Halloween at home

  • The manse at 365 Main St. screams an otherworldly feel in an otherwise quietly decorated neighborhood. But that’s how Rick Talbot and Brad Towne – and the rest of the South End of Concord – likes it. “I do it because I love Halloween,” Talbot said. “We get people stopping by and taking pictures, like, every day.” GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The manse at 365 Main St. screams an otherworldly feel in an otherwise quietly decorated neighborhood. But that’s how Rick Talbot and Brad Towne – and the rest of the South End of Concord – likes it. “I do it because I love Halloween,” Talbot said. “We get people stopping by and taking pictures, like, every day.” GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • The manse at 365 Main St. screams an otherworldly feel in an otherwise quietly decorated neighborhood. But that’€™s how Rick Talbot and Brad Towne –€“ and the rest of the South End of Concord – likes it. “I do it because I love Halloween,” Talbot said. “We get people stopping by and taking pictures, like, every day.” GEOFF FORESTER photos / Monitor staff


Sunday, October 29, 2017

If you travel between Concord and Bow via South Main Street on Halloween, beware the last house on the left.

You can’t miss it: the grounds crawl with ghosts and ghouls, peeking out behind bushes and lurking on the porch. For brave trick-or-treaters, a path to the front door is possible, as long as you don’t mind skirting some tombstones and jack o’ lanterns. As you leave, watch out for a skeletal hand, snatching at your ankles.

The manse at 365 S. Main St. screams an otherworldly feel in an otherwise quietly decorated neighborhood. But that’s how Rick Talbot and Brad Towne – and the rest of the South End of Concord – likes it.

“I do it because I love Halloween,” Talbot said. “We get people stopping by and taking pictures, like, every day.”

Talbot certainly has material to draw from – he and Towne own Cobblestone Design Company, now located in downtown Concord. All of his spooky decor has been acquired from Cobblestone over the years. Were someone to want to replicate Talbot’s look, he estimated it would probably cost about $1,000.

Talbot said they do up their house every year; occasionally there’s a theme, like pirates or carnivals, and the design is a little different each time. It takes about two days to place every pumpkin and skeleton, Talbot estimated.

But the time is worth it, he said. “With the Cobblestone van parked right out front, it basically acts like a big advertisement,” he said.

Talbot said the house acts like a beacon for trick-or-treaters in south Concord. It’s a little surprising to him, because the house is located so close to the Interstate 93 interchange and South Main Street is so busy. So he tries to make it worth their while, handing out candy by the handful.

“The older, braver kids will go to the front door,” he said, gesturing at the ghoul-flanked pathway. “The young kids will go around to the side door.”

Talbot said while his neighborhood certainly cannot compete with Auburn Street, the Mecca of Halloween treat-getting, the South End still shows out. “Everyone gets those big bags of candy to hand out,” he said. “It’s worth it to us; I think everyone enjoys it.”

But the house won’t remain ghostly for long; come Nov. 1, the Halloween decorations come down in preparation for the next big decorating opportunity: Christmas.

Halloween hot spot

If you’re new to Concord this haunted holiday, you might not know about the earlier-mentioned Auburn Street, which has been the epicenter of the city’s trick-or-treating scene for decades.

What makes a single street so hallowed? The good stuff: residents on the street are known for handing out ice cream, toys and king-sized candy bars, attracting thousands of children. And locals predict it’s going to be as big as ever this year.

“Each year it seems to grow,” wrote 31 Auburn St. resident Karen Joyal in an email. “Years when it has been rainy I thought, ‘this is the year for low numbers’ but the weather never seems to deter folks.”

So many children visit the street each year that Joyal started putting reminders on her calendar each year to request the city close the street to vehicle traffic.

It’s certainly not a scene to miss, Joyal wrote.

“Halloween is special on Auburn Street,” she wrote. “It what you think of when you think quaint New England tradition. Most of the folks that live on our street embrace it and look forward to Halloween. It is a nice thing to do for the children and for the families as it brings everyone out and together.”

If you’re planning to hit up Auburn Street, parking is available at nearby White Park or other side streets.

Autumn’s leaves

Here’s a scary thought: missing the city’s leaf collection crew, which is scheduled to start moving through the city today through Dec. 8.

Concord and Penacook residents participating in the program should leave their unbagged leaves at the curb by the start of the program. Crews typically sweep through the city only once, so be sure not to miss out.

Leery of leaving even one leaf on the lawn? Once the city starts picking up leaves, a collection map will become available on the city’s website showing where the three collection crews were the previous day, letting organized leaf pilers better predict where the city is going to go next.

One crew will start at the Bow town line on South Street and work north, a second crew will start on Elm Street in Penacook and work south, and a third crew will start on Manchester Street and work north on the east side of the river.

Branches and brush will not be collected; you’ll have to take those to the Gelinas Excavation & Earth Materials Recycling Center at 10 Intervale Road yourself for a fee.

Witched out

Think you’ll still be hankering for some witchy material on Nov. 1? The Concord Public Library will be hosting Margo Burns at 6 p.m. She’ll be discussing witch trials during the colonial period in in New England, focusing primarily on the events in Salem, Mass., which left 20 people dead, according to the library’s newsletter.

Trick-or-treating hours

Trick-or-treating will take place in Penacook between the hours of 5 and 7:30 p.m. on Monday and in Concord between the hours of 5 and 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

(Caitlin Andrews can be reached at 369-3309, candrews@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @ActualCAndrews.)